List of Occupy Vancouver demands 'not official'
A draft list of "demands" has emerged on the Occupy Vancouver website, with 60 items ranging from the closure of tax loopholes for the wealthy to the release of non-violent prisoners.
The authors of the list, which was posted Friday on the website's message board, are not named, but it is said to have been compiled over the course of several days by members of the Occupy general assembly.
Occupy Vancouver press liaison Sarah Beuhler told ctvbc.ca that the list is "definitely not official," and was formed by a group of about six individuals.
"Certain people found it very important that a list of demands be generated, though others disagreed," Beuhler said.
"I have personally heard a lot of discontentment with this particular list, in that it's not particularly well-crafted and it seemed to have some people's pet issues on it."
Beuhler confirmed that the list was written by members of the general assembly, but said that body includes anyone who chooses to protest at the site. She estimated between 200 and 300 people show up on a daily basis.
An official list of demands could be voted on in the future, Beuhler added, and would likely be boiled down to a few key issues that a majority of the general assembly could agree on.
The so-called "draft list" appears below in its entirety:
Rough Draft of Demands for Occupy Vancouver
In sum, we demand the creation of a just and sustainable society.
If we remove too many demands from the final version we risk having an unjust and unsustainable society. That is unacceptable .
1. We demand that the wealthiest 1% pay their fair share by the closing of tax loopholes such as dark pools of liquidity and employer-side payroll taxes. Progressive taxation principles must prevail, income from capital must be taxed at the same level as wage income.
2. We demand that the banks be nationalized and limit interest payments to 1%. The Board of Directors of the Bank of Canada and top tier of management must now include at least 50% representatives for Labor/wage earners and the balance must contain a mix of academics, as well as business people. The mandate of the Bank of Canada must now include the pursuit of low unemployment in addition to low inflation. (An alternative demand to nationalization of the banks is: "We demand a cap on interest rates at 5% plus prime.")
3. We demand that crimes committed by banks and corporations be prosecuted more rigorously – a dedicated justice fund for white-collar crimes must be created. Canadian corporations must also be held accountable for crimes (such as bribery and pollution) committed abroad.
4. We demand that all income tax for those who make less than the living wage be eliminated.
5. We demand that a "ministry of whistle-blowing" be created with the power to protect any whistle blower – corporate or otherwise – from harm of any kind. We need to be able to safely call attention to injustice. Previous failed attempts to do this should be learned from.
6. We demand a higher minimum wage – one that equals a living wage. Those unable to work due to disability or infirmity should have a guaranteed income which will allow a dignified existence.
7. We demand that Canada pulls out of all free trade agreements - including repealing NAFTA - which are actually "investors rights" agreements and have little to do with trade. We demand an end to future attempts at "free trade" agreements and/or the North American Union. All monopolies – national or international – must be prohibited.
8. We demand that EI payments from people not eligible to receive from the program be eliminated.
9. We demand that supply management of agricultural products be ended.
10. We demand that the federal government keep out of private sector union negotiations.
11. We demand the prohibition of self-regulation by large-scale industries.
12. We demand that corporate person-hood is repealed.
13. We demand the influence of lobbyists and influence peddlers be reduced by requiring all lobbyists and corporate representatives conduct all meetings with representatives out in the open, with records of what was said and what was spent easily accessible to the public.
14. We demand the electoral playing field be leveled by limiting each political party to equal small amounts of taxpayer money. We demand the elimination of campaign contributions entirely.
15. We demand the installation of a proportional representation system in all municipal, provincial and federal elections. We demand the adoption of Swiss-style direct democracy and Nunavut-style consensus-decision-making into all political processes.
16. We demand an immediate end to Canada's role in the war in Afghanistan. We demand Canada pulls out of NATO.
17. We demand the government makes sure the CBC is independent from influence by powerful groups by getting enough funding so it can go commercial free so it no longer must depend on big business for advertizing, and that it becomes immune from future budget cuts.
18. We demand the elimination of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001, which criminalizes activities similar to the ones conducted by the French Resistance in WW2 and Nelson Mandela's ANC in South Africa.
19. We demand Canada pulls out of the SPP – the "Security and Prosperity Partnership" – the military and economic harmonization between Canada and the United States. Canada must remain sovereign.
20. We demand the return of the long form census and an end to the practice of outsourcing census work to multinationals such as Lockheed Martin.
21. We demand that Statistics Canada and the Parliamentary Budget Office be made arms-length organizations outside the direct jurisdiction of partisans.
22. We demand that publicly funded science be made available to the public. No tax-payer-funded scientists should be gagged or censored in any way.
23. We demand that the science minister be replaced with an MP who recognizes the realities of evolution and global human-caused climate change.
24. We demand an end to all gag-orders on public servants.
25. We demand an independent investigation into 9/11 which will examine all evidence including that which would support a false-flag explanation.
26. We demand that "none of the above" be an option on all electoral ballots.
27. We demand - as Bertrand Russell suggested - there be two police forces – one to prove your guilt and another to prove your innocence. We demand lawyers be required to work in pairs so that a lack of resources won't be a factor in deciding a case. (Alternative: We demand increased funding for legal aid.)
28. We demand a majority of the defense budget be redistributed to health, education and housing.
29. We demand massage, dental and eye care be covered under the health care system.
30. We demand an end to gender and racial discrimination in the workplace. We demand pay equity and employment equity. We demand equal pay for different but equivalent work.
31. We demand the right of self-determination for all indigenous nations. We demand a speedy resolutions to all outstanding land claims acceptable to all parties concerned.
32. We demand the repeal of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. All synthetic drugs and hard drugs (including cocaine and heroin) must be distributed by prescription through a pharmacist.
33. We demand that all botanical drugs be distributed like coffee beans. Human medical autonomy must now be respected by all.
34. We demand that all harmless people be protected in the constitution. If a new law is written and a new set of people are to be criminalized, the burden of proof will now be on the government to provide evidence that this new group of criminals is inherently harmful to others. This will end scapegoating.
35. We demand that post-secondary education be free with no hidden user fees. We demand that most outstanding student loans should be forgiven based upon income.
36. We demand that herbalists and naturopaths have their services covered by the health-care system.
37. We demand that judicial sentencing discretion should be preserved.
38. We demand that the omnibus crime bill be eliminated.
39. We demand that prostitution be legalized and regulated as it is in New Zealand.
40. We demand public universities and colleges stop taking money from the corporate sector.
41. We demand the release of all non-violent prisoners.
42. We demand an end to the corporate funding and control of collages and universities.
43. We demand that subsidies shift from fossil fuel and nuclear energy to renewable resources such as sun, wind, wave, geothermal and cellulose-based ethanol.
44. We demand that GMO's – extra-natural genetic modification - be banned because there is no consensus that they increase yield, are safe to consume, are safe for the environment and pose no threat to global food security but there is general agreement that they allow seed monopolies and lawsuits based upon pollen drift. The patenting of life must be illegal and terminator seeds banned from sale in Canada.
45. We demand that chemical fertilizers and pesticides be phased out over the next five years while farmers learn to use organic methods because chemical fertilizers and pesticides are unnecessary and kill the soil vitality needed for human survival.
46. We demand that "open-net/open water" fish farming be banned.
47. We demand that environmental laws be enforced more rigorously.
48. We demand that soil vitality be a priority.
49. We demand that the nuclear industry be phased out.
50. We demand that the health and environmental costs be factored into the cost of each product, and taxed appropriately.
51. We demand the shutting down of the Tar Sands project.
52. We demand that fracking – hydraulic fracturing - be prohibited.
53. We demand the removal of all the red tape around the growing of industrial hemp.
54. We demand Canada pull out of the Keystone Pipeline.
55. We demand the prohibition of all off-shore drilling. We demand maximum liability on all oil spills.
56. We demand a national ban on products and packaging that can't be recycled locally.
57. We demand a ban on factory farming or CAFO's (concentrated animal feeding operations).
58. We demand an end to all logging in old-growth forests and an end to clear-cutting everywhere.
59. We demand protection of water rights and transparency in all Canadian water deals.
60. We demand Canada adopts the Bolivian Earth Charter.
Have your say: Would the Occupy demands, if implemented, improve Canadian society?